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Why you should consider a SAFe® Agile certification

The comparative analysis published in the 14th state of Agile report in mid-2020 represents a very crystal-clear image of Scale Agile Framework® winning the race. With approximate 35% of the total share and the graph still rising, there are many concrete reasons to be a part of the Agile revolution. The Covid pandemic has catalyzed change across forward-thinking organizations, and enterprises have realized the importance of agile and scaling it up to all layers.Many organizations have already moved to scale their Agile processes and ways of working, and  SAFe® is proven to be the most trusted and promising framework that serves the need of the enterprise and the client. The concept of customer satisfaction has been replaced with customer delight; hence it is not just about satisfying the needs of the customer but also making sure of nurturing long-term engagements and healthy relationships.Courtesy: 14th State of Agile ReportWith the increasing popularity of the scaled agile framework and its adoption across various organizations, there's a growing need for people who understand the framework and can lead the transformation. This opens a lot of opportunities for professionals who were earlier working with scrum or with any agile team. Even if someone is new to agile, they can go through SAFe certification and enhance their skills. Before moving forward with the reasons to get certified, let me first quickly give you the gist of what scaled agile is all about.While working with scrum teams, you might have noticed that the development team, the product owner and the scrum master work in sprints and deliver at certain intervals. Individual teams work in a localized, small fashion. But when we talk about large organizations, getting each layer to focus and work towards a common goal becomes the priority. Scaling is about expanding the agile practices at the organization level. When multiple teams are involved across all the layers namely – Team, Portfolio, Program, etc., a scaled agile framework binds everyone together to serve the highest common purpose.As per Scaled Agile,Inc, “Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe®) empowers complex organizations to achieve the benefits of Lean-Agile software and systems development at scale.”. Coming back to our topic of the day, let's catch up on some reasons to get SAFe certified: Mastering the Challenges – SAFE certification helps to understand the challenges of large organizations. A SAFe training helps to understand the entire organization and its end-to-end flow. By understanding the various value streams, one can easily master the blockages and help the organizations move forward in the journey with the client. It helps in learning different aspects of an organization and gaining in-depth understanding of processes. Earlier, a person just knew the people he or she was interacting with, but with SAFe, they can now have insight at all layers both in terms of delivery and roles and responsibilities. Worldwide Recognized Accreditation - Scaled agile certification has a globally recognized value, and is something that each IT organization in every country understands and treats as a niche skill. With a SAFe certification in hand, you can look out for your dream job in your dream country/organization. This certification is accepted worldwide and is much in demand. Scaled Agile credentials are among the most sought-after certifications with more and more organizations adopting SAFe. To meet the market needs and stay on top of the market, Scaled Agile constantly upgrades their content, making it more robust and adaptable.  Big money pockets - As scaling Agile is considered a niche skill in the industry, Scaled Agilists are paid rewarding salaries. If you are SAFe certified, you can expect a good hike in your new job or a good hike in the next appraisal. The credential also enhances your profile and makes it market-ready, increasing your employability. The market statistics show that SAFe certified professionals are paid at least 25% above their non-certified peers.  You can begin your journey with SAFe with the ‘SAFe Agilist’ certification, which is a foundational certification.  Increase in SAFe Adoption at Organization Level - With an upward trend of organizations adopting agile,  job descriptions have started including SAFe as one of the parameters that employers are looking out for. This certification makes you ready for the opportunity and the organizations’ expectations. In the current scenario, the numbers of SAFe certified professionals are low, which gives you an extra edge over others. With this certification, you can not only grow in your area intellectually but also can increase your visibility across industries. All about Growth Mindset – Lean-Agile principles in scaled framework focus on the growth mindset, which is different from the traditional way of working. Every individual wants to work in an environment that helps them grow, and SAFe organizations help them to expand their horizons. Working in a SAFe setup helps you to get aligned with bigger goals and gives you the opportunity to showcase your skills. You can get to see a 360-degree change in the way organizations work and deliver, after implementing SAFe.  Better Time-To-Market - Planned release cycles with shorter timelines reduce time to market and enhance customer satisfaction.  There is cutting-edge competition in the market, and as a SAFe certified professional, you will be much in demand for your capabilities of supporting the business to realize their objectives. The training and certification prepare you for the challenging task upfront, providing you with tools and processes, concepts of agile release train and value streams, etc, that can help you get aligned with the organizational needs. Lean-Agile Leadership- Lean and agile principles are very finely embedded in the SAFe framework which incorporates beliefs, standards, and processes that form the foundation of any organization at scale. With this certification, you can learn in detail about each parameter, each pillar, or each basic principle of scaling Agile. You will learn that SAFe is not just about delivery, coding, or the pipelines but it is also about its people - the individuals, and the teams who work relentlessly to achieve on-time releases. This is one of the reasons why SAFe is so popular. Makes your profile shine - Adding a SAFe certification to your profile is like adding a feather in your cap which sets you apart from the crowd. It adds a lot of weight to your resume and is much in demand across the globe. SAFe certification empowers you with an in-depth understanding of terminology and processes, and you get to know various aspects of working in a scaled agile organization which will not be possible without a certification. This is one of the reasons why employers actively seek people who already have SAFe certifications, rather than getting someone in house or someone without a SAFe credential. With the certification, your profile automatically gets selected for discussions at the initial stage itself, as you will be fulfilling their primary needs. Sets the Growth Path – With an understanding of the complete end to end defined framework, you can very easily look for growth options. Be it moving into the program or the portfolio layer depending on your skills and your expertise. it gives you a break from working in a monotonous manner, and helps you to communicate with various layers and get to know the big picture. The certification authenticates your capability to work across varied project management tools and methods. Continuous Delivery Pipeline- SAFe training and certification empowers you with the knowledge required to create a continuous delivery pipeline. You can learn how to incorporate DevOps tools, and get an understanding of various other tools and practices required to handle continuous delivery. It will not just help you with SAFe, but you can get exposure to the new market trends in terms of tools and processes.These were just a few of the benefits you can accrue with this certification. With more organizations adopting the Scaled Agile Framework, the opportunities are only bound to increase. And trust me, this is the best time to opt for a SAFe certification.  Looking at the job descriptions we usually see nowadays, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that in the time to come, this certification will become one of the mandates for any organization looking to scale Agile. If you still have any queries, please drop in a comment! We wish you good luck in your SAFe career!  

Why you should consider a SAFe® Agile certification

6K
  • by Deepti Sinha
  • 25th Feb, 2021
  • Last updated on 22nd Mar, 2021
  • 4 mins read
Why you should consider a SAFe® Agile certification

The comparative analysis published in the 14th state of Agile report in mid-2020 represents a very crystal-clear image of Scale Agile Framework® winning the race. With approximate 35% of the total share and the graph still rising, there are many concrete reasons to be a part of the Agile revolutionThe Covid pandemic has catalyzed change across forward-thinking organizations, and enterprises have realized the importance of agile and scaling it up to all layers.

Many organizations have already moved to scale their Agile processes and ways of working, and  SAFe® is proven to be the most trusted and promising framework that serves the need of the enterprise and the client. The concept of customer satisfaction has been replaced with customer delight; hence it is not just about satisfying the needs of the customer but also making sure of nurturing long-term engagements and healthy relationships.Agile Report

Courtesy: 14th State of Agile Report

With the increasing popularity of the scaled agile framework and its adoption across various organizations, there's a growing need for people who understand the framework and can lead the transformation. This opens a lot of opportunities for professionals who were earlier working with scrum or with any agile team. Even if someone is new to agile, they can go through SAFe certification and enhance their skills. Before moving forward with the reasons to get certified, let me first quickly give you the gist of what scaled agile is all about.

While working with scrum teams, you might have noticed that the development team, the product owner and the scrum master work in sprints and deliver at certain intervals. Individual teams work in a localized, small fashion. But when we talk about large organizations, getting each layer to focus and work towards a common goal becomes the priority. Scaling is about expanding the agile practices at the organization level. When multiple teams are involved across all the layers namely – Team, Portfolio, Program, etc., a scaled agile framework binds everyone together to serve the highest common purpose.

As per Scaled Agile,Inc, “Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe®) empowers complex organizations to achieve the benefits of Lean-Agile software and systems development at scale.”. 

Coming back to our topic of the day, let's catch up on some reasons to get SAFe certified: 

  1. Mastering the Challenges – SAFE certification helps to understand the challenges of large organizations. A SAFe training helps to understand the entire organization and its end-to-end flow. By understanding the various value streams, one can easily master the blockages and help the organizations move forward in the journey with the client. It helps in learning different aspects of an organization and gaining in-depth understanding of processes. Earlier, a person just knew the people he or she was interacting with, but with SAFe, they can now have insight at all layers both in terms of delivery and roles and responsibilities. 
  2. Worldwide Recognized Accreditation - Scaled agile certification has a globally recognized value, and is something that each IT organization in every country understands and treats as a niche skill. With a SAFe certification in hand, you can look out for your dream job in your dream country/organization. This certification is accepted worldwide and is much in demand. Scaled Agile credentials are among the most sought-after certifications with more and more organizations adopting SAFe. To meet the market needs and stay on top of the market, Scaled Agile constantly upgrades their content, making it more robust and adaptable.  
  3. Big money pockets - As scaling Agile is considered a niche skill in the industry, Scaled Agilists are paid rewarding salaries. If you are SAFe certified, you can expect a good hike in your new job or a good hike in the next appraisal. The credential also enhances your profile and makes it market-ready, increasing your employability. The market statistics show that SAFe certified professionals are paid at least 25% above their non-certified peers.  You can begin your journey with SAFe with the SAFe Agilist’ certification, which is a foundational certification 
  4. Increase in SAFe Adoption at Organization Level - With an upward trend of organizations adopting agile,  job descriptions have started including SAFe as one of the parameters that employers are looking out for. This certification makes you ready for the opportunity and the organizations’ expectations. In the current scenario, the numbers of SAFe certified professionals are low, which gives you an extra edge over others. With this certification, you can not only grow in your area intellectually but also can increase your visibility across industries. 
  5. All about Growth Mindset – Lean-Agile principles in scaled framework focus on the growth mindset, which is different from the traditional way of working. Every individual wants to work in an environment that helps them grow, and SAFe organizations help them to expand their horizonsWorking in a SAFe setup helps you to get aligned with bigger goals and gives you the opportunity to showcase your skills. You can get to see a 360-degree change in the way organizations work and deliver, after implementing SAFe 
  6. Better Time-To-Market - Planned release cycles with shorter timelines reduce time to market and enhance customer satisfaction There is cutting-edge competition in the market, and as a SAFe certified professional, you will be much in demand for your capabilities of supporting the business to realize their objectives. The training and certification prepare you for the challenging task upfront, providing you with tools and processes, concepts of agile release train and value streams, etc, that can help you get aligned with the organizational needs. 
  7. Lean-Agile Leadership- Lean and agile principles are very finely embedded in the SAFe framework which incorporates beliefs, standards, and processes that form the foundation of any organization at scale. With this certification, you can learn in detail about each parameter, each pillar, or each basic principle of scaling Agile. You will learn that SAFe is not just about delivery, coding, or the pipelines but it is also about its people - the individuals, and the teams who work relentlessly to achieve on-time releases. This is one of the reasons why SAFe is so popular. 
  8. Makes your profile shine - Adding a SAFe certification to your profile is like adding a feather in your cap which sets you apart from the crowd. It adds a lot of weight to your resume and is much in demand across the globe. SAFe certification empowers you with an in-depth understanding of terminology and processesand you get to know various aspects of working in a scaled agile organization which will not be possible without a certification. This is one of the reasons why employers actively seek people who already have SAFe certifications, rather than getting someone in house or someone without SAFe credential. With the certification, your profile automatically gets selected for discussions at the initial stage itself, as you will be fulfilling their primary needs. 
  9. Sets the Growth Path – With an understanding of the complete end to end defined framework, you can very easily look for growth options. Be it moving into the program or the portfolio layer depending on your skills and your expertise. it gives you a break from working in a monotonous manner, and helps you to communicate with various layers and get to know the big picture. The certification authenticates your capability to work across varied project management tools and methods. 
  10. Continuous Delivery Pipeline- SAFe training and certification empowers you with the knowledge required to create a continuous delivery pipeline. You can learn how to incorporate DevOps tools, and get an understanding of various other tools and practices required to handle continuous delivery. It will not just help you with SAFebut you can get exposure to the new market trends in terms of tools and processes.

These were just a few of the benefits you can accrue with this certification. With more organizations adopting the Scaled Agile Framework, the opportunities are only bound to increase. And trust me, this is the best time to opt for a SAFe certification.  Looking at the job descriptions we usually see nowadays, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that in the time to come, this certification will become one of the mandates for any organization looking to scale Agile. If you still have any queries, please drop in a comment! We wish you good luck in your SAFe career!  

Deepti

Deepti Sinha

Blog Author

Deepti is an Agile Coach by profession and Freelance Trainer with over 11 years of industry experience working primarily with healthcare & finance clients in delivering business. She has played a wide variety of roles in the graph of her career, whether it be, management, operations or quality. She likes reading fiction, management and loves to write her experiences. Her colleagues mostly describe her as very detail oriented person with a knack of creativity and imagination. And yes, she loves feedback more than her coffee!!

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Why Scrum Is Lightweight; Simple To Understand; Difficult To Master?

85 percent of respondents say Scrum continues to improve quality of work life—State of Scrum 2017-2018 We have all heard companies who have adopted Scrum wax eloquent about its advantages and the benefits it brings in to business. Scrum has been adopted because it is supposed to be simple and promotes collaboration and communication. Yet, more organizations attempting the Agile/Scrum transformation often fail and end up abandoning their transformation or get stuck in a limbo. So, is the golden statement that ‘Scrum is lightweight, simple to understand, difficult to master’ true? In this blog we attempt to decipher this statement and understand how Scrum Masters can help make Scrum projects or implementations successful.Where to start?So, what makes Scrum so popular? That it is better suited to the changing market conditions of the present times is well known, but how is it able to do it?  Scrum is an adaptable, iterative framework that helps Scrum teams break down large projects into small chunks called epics and sprints. Goals are defined and timeboxed. Teams are small, self-organized and with a high degree of cross-function. A goal or functionality has to be delivered at the end of each sprint. This helps for quick feedback and gives teams the ability to adapt to changing requirements—a must in times when products have to adapt quickly to please changing user preferences.  The advantages of Scrum include:  More satisfied customers Better managed processes and happier teams Better visibility into projects Better quality products  Projects completed withing time and budget constraints Better adaptability  Motivated teams Lightweight Management ProcessScrum is a lightweight framework because it provides adaptable solutions to complex problems and helps teams and organizations generate value.Why Scrum is considered to be lightweight, easy to understand but difficult to master?Lightweight: Scrum, based on Agile values, has few elements and maximizes responsiveness to customer needs. This makes it lightweight and apt for software development in the modern world.  Easy to Understand: With just three roles, three artifacts, four ceremonies and 12 Agile values, Scrum is pretty easy to understand. Scrum is a collection of practices and concepts that teams use to build processes around. The Scrum Guide which is the Scrum bible is also easy to read and understand. The three scrum roles are: Team, Scrum Master, Product Owner The ceremonies are:  Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum, Retrospective and Sprint Review The three artifacts are: Product Backlog, Sprint Backlog, Burndown chart  Difficult to Master: So, if Scrum is so easy to learn about and understand then why is that it’s difficult to actually implement and master? Let us look at this from the perspective of a Scrum Master. A Scrum Master is a critical part of the Scrum team and is in effect a microcosm of Scrum upholding the Agile values and focusing on creating a self-organizing, highly motivated and collaborative team. Scrum is a not a one-size-fits- all framework. Perhaps that is what makes it difficult to master. It has to be tailored to suit the needs of each project, team and organization. There are several factors that need to be considered before adopting Scrum. The Scrum Master’s role, similarly, needs to be learnt and there are several skills a professional must have or needs to cultivate in order to be a successful Scrum Master. The Scrum Master’s Role in a Successful Scrum Adoption:There are many Scrum teams that have started out in the right way, but soon fall by the wayside as they do not follow Scrum in principle. This is where the Scrum Master plays a very critical role in the success of the team. Despite Scrum being ‘simple to understand and difficult to master’ the Scrum Master is considered to be the expert on all things Scrum.As a coach, guide and mentor, the Scrum Master should facilitate the successful adoption of Scrum, and help others to gain mastery over Scrum principles and values.A Scrum Master must mandatorily follow certain core values and inspire the team to follow them as well. These core values that include openness, commitment, focus, courage and respect bring the team together and promote better work ethics and practices.Besides inculcating Scrum principles and values and guiding a successful adoption, a Scrum Master should also have these attributes:  An Unbiased and Open Mind:  An unbiased and open mind is key to being a good Scrum Master. As part of their portfolio, Scrum Masters have to work with different teams and team members having different personalities. Having an open mind will help the Scrum Master to not look at every team with the same lens and treat each team differently. Solutions that work for one team may not work for other teams or situations. Having an open mind will help you realise this and tweak your decisions based on teams and situations.   Transparency:  Transparency and open communication are the pillars of Scrum. As a Scrum Master your intentions should be open and transparent to everyone including your team and the product owner. The team must at all times know your reasons for doing certain things or taking certain decisions. Being upfront with the team members will help in trust building and lead to better work ethics.   Metrics to Map Progress:There are several tools available to track a team’s progress and the Scrum Master must ensure that these metrics showing the team’s progress be made available to the entire team. This will help the team better plan sprints, work collaboratively and improve working practices in order to ensure better output and value.   Motivation for Team Members: Keeping your team members happy and motivated is a Scrum Master’s main job. This includes removing obstacles that may impede the team from performing and helping them work according to Scrum values and techniques. The development team develops the product, and a happy team means a well-built product and satisfied customers. Assistance to the Product Owner:  As a Scrum Master, aiding the Product Owner is a major part of your responsibility. The Product Owner is a major stakeholder in the Scrum team and the Scrum Master aids the product owner in backlog management and by facilitating Scrum events, product planning and by helping the team to identify backlog items. Aiding the Product Owner in issues that they may face with regards to the project, stakeholders or the team will create a positive environment and will make things between the team and the product owner smoother.   Focus on the Challenges: Every Scrum project comes with its set of issues. But an effective Scrum Master will be aware of every challenge or impediment that comes in the way of the development team and takes these problems head on. Focusing on these challenges early on and resolving them is paramount to the success and progress of the team and the project. Appreciation for Achievements:  The focus of daily sprints and retrospectives is often to celebrate achievements and give the development team proper appreciation. A Scrum Master encourages and motivates and this they also do by respective current achievements. While giving advise on how things should be done is necessary, appreciating the team on its achievements is equally important.   Respect for Others: Your team members all have different personalities and each brings their own uniqueness and expertise to the team. No one team member is less or more important than the other. An effective and efficient Scrum Master will recognise this early on and treat every team member with the same amount of respect.  Understanding of Situations in the Right Context:  Not all things are as what they appear. The sooner a scrum master understands this, the better. Situations in context to teams, individuals and even the organization are not always black and white and the Scrum Master must consider the baggage of organizational culture, current systems, internal politics, etc before coming to a conclusion about a team or a team members. 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This trust with the team has to be built so that team members can be open about the challenges they face. The Scrum Master is the voice of the team and must support them at all stages.   Focus on Improvement:  Scrum is all about continuous improvement and the success of the Scrum Master is also tied to the continuous improvement of the Scrum team. If your team is getting better with time then you are doing well as a Scrum Master. From daily sprints to retrospectives, the Scrum Master provides avenues for the team to improve itself, identify problems and suggest solutions to work better.  Conclusion Scrum is the most used Agile framework, yet there are several lessons that organizations need to learn about Scrum before they embark on a transformation journey. This lightweight and easy to use framework can turn around the fortunes of companies if implemented in the right way. 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Scrum Master – The Scrum Team’s Servant-Leader!

The term servant leader is synonymous with a Scrum Master. But what does it mean? The Scrum Master is a servant leader in Agile projects, but servant leadership goes far beyond Agile, and Scrum Masters serve more than just the team.In this blog we attempt to look at the Scrum Master’s role as a servant leader, what the role entails and the responsibilities of the Scrum Master beyond the team, in context to the organization. What is servant-leadership?The term servant leadership was first coined by Robert Greenleaf in his article “The Servant as Leader”, in which he defined a servant leader as: The Servant-Leader is servant first. It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. That leader significantly differs from one who is leader first, may be due to the need to acquire power, material belonging, control and authority within the organization. Servant leadership is something very different from traditional leadership, which places the leader at the top of the hierarchy and the employees in the lower rung. Servant leadership, in a sense, is the opposite of traditional leadership, as it places the leader at the bottom of the hierarchy while employees are on the higher rungs. The leaders, in this case, are serving the people above them. Servant leadership refers to leaders who believe in serving people and the community that they are a part of, rather than accumulating power for themselves. This style of leadership emphasizes on helping subordinates better themselves, empowering employees and helping others perform to the best of their abilities.Servant leadership does not prescribe telling employees what to do, instead it helps the workforce find their sense of ownership and unlock their potential to reach their goals. Servant leadership is all about empowering others, which when consistently done can raise morale, enhance productivity and reduce employee attrition.Servant Leadership and ScrumScrum, in a way, is the very essence of servant leadership. Unlike traditional project management methodologies, it does not follow a top-down, hierarchical approach. Instead, decisions are lateral and happen with the involvement of the whole team. Scrum is the perfect approach in which to practice the concept of servant leadership. The 5 Scrum values of Openness, Respect, Commitment, Courage, and Focus, adhere to the philosophy of Servant Leadership. 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Servant leadership in Scrum is all about making the team self-reliant, so they can cope with the pressures of the role. As a servant leader the Scrum Master creates a high performing team, helps them become collaborative and high performing in order to achieve goals and meet the requirements of the customer.  Service to the Scrum Team: As a servant leader, the primary responsibility of the Scrum Master is to help the development team perform. They help the team perform to the best of their abilities by giving them an environment that is conducive to work in, encouraging them, guiding them and removing obstacles that may hinder progress. As a coach, the Scrum Master will guide the team on scrum processes and help them adhere to Agile values during the development of the product. The Scrum Master is responsible for the scrum team’s effectiveness, and they work tirelessly to ensure that the team is motivated, encouraged, creative and innovative. The Scrum Master through servant leadership helps the team improve Scrum practices which helps them become more productive and generate value. The Scrum Team’s role in motivating and helping the team comes through in the daily stand-up meetings that are arranged as part of the sprint. The Scrum Master encourages team members to share their grievances and progress made through the sprint. Team members can talk about obstacles that may be hindering their work and due cognizance will be taken up by the Scrum master to ensure that these obstacles are removed.  According to the Scrum Guide, the Scrum Master helps the Development Team by: Coaching the team in becoming self-organized and cross-functional Helping the Scrum Team focus on creating high-value increments by removing impediments Helping the team deliver within the timeframe of the sprint Service to the Product Owner: The Scrum Master is a servant leader not just for the development team but also the Product Owner. While the Product Owner is primarily responsible for the product backlog, they cannot do this alone. The Scrum Master aids the development team and the Product Owner with effective product backlog management.The Scrum Master is involved at every stage of the product backlog grooming, helping the product owner with Scrum events, product planning and to identify backlog items along with the development team. The Scrum Master helps the Product Owner define the product vision to the team.   According to the Scrum Guide, the Scrum Master helps the Product Owner by: Helping in Product Goal definition and Product Backlog management Helping the Scrum Team understand manage the Product Backlog items Setting up empirical product planning in complex environments and, Managing and facilitating stakeholder collaboration.Service to the Organization: The Scrum Master is a coach and motivator not just for the development team but goes beyond the team to spread the awareness of Scrum in the entire organization. Scrum Masters coach and help teams and departments understand Scrum and develop an Agile mind-set. Besides servant leadership to the team a Scrum Master is also involved in promoting the ideas and values of Scrum. An organization can get an agile mind-set only if the entire organization adopts Scrum and not just a few teams. This is where the Scrum Master comes in, helping other teams not involved with Scum to gain the Agile mind-set, through training and coaching. The Scrum Master is an Agile evangelist and promotes Scrum enterprise-wide.According to Scrum.org the Scrum Master serves the organization by: Leading, training, and coaching the organization in adopting Scrum Planning and advising Scrum implementations within the organization Coaching employees and stakeholders in the way Scrum works Helping stakeholders work with Scrum TeamsSome Servant-Leader Behaviours for every Scrum MasterBeing empathetic: This is the foremost personality trait required for anyone wanting to become a Scrum Master. Your empathy will shine through in your interactions with the team members and your dealings with the stakeholders. You should be able to see problems from the point of view of each party and work towards solving these problems. Caring: As a caring and empathetic Scrum Master, your team will feel free to approach you and share their concerns. Providing a listening ear will make you more approachable. You will be able to more clearly understand the impediments that are stopping project progress and work towards providing a solution.  Managing Conflicts: Not all team members will get along with each other and this can cause disruptions and problems within the team, lowering their productivity. As a Scrum Master you need to be great at conflict management, help others solve their problems, work with each other and create a high performing and harmonious team. Building relationships: You need to build a rapport with your team, the product owner and the stakeholders. This will help you communicate freely and help others approach you with their problems and issues. You need to build that relationship of trust and take everyone along on the journey of success.  Being ethical: Ethics play an important role in software development, especially since software now controls every aspect of our lives. The product created should be free of malice and fraud. The Scrum Master should guide the team in delivering the product at a value and standard that is expected and agreed upon with the stakeholder. There should not be any shortcuts or concessions made on the quality of the product delivered as this will affect not just the Scrum Master and the team’s reputation but will cause a dent in the reputation of the organization.   Conclusion  Servant leadership and the Scrum Master’s role is the backbone of Scrum. The Scrum Master as a servant leader re-emphasizes the values of Scrum and helps to enhance teamwork, collaboration, motivation and value. Under the able servant leadership of the Scrum Master, individual members and the team will grow, become more confident and help in delivering value.  
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Scrum Master – The Scrum Team’s Servan...

The term servant leader is synonymous with a Scrum... Read More

A Guide to Scaling Scrum

Scrum has been proven to work well for small teams. But the true benefits of Agile can only be reaped if Agile and Scrum are scaled at the enterprise level. However, this is easier said than done. According to statistics, 47% of Agile transformations are not successful. While this is a worrying trend, there are still hundreds of organizations who have got it right and are able to survive the competition by innovating faster, delivering value and adapting to changing markets. How are they doing it? By using scaled Scrum.There are several tools and frameworks available for scaling Scrum at the enterprise level. In this blog, we attempt to look at a few of these.  Scaling Scrum with NexusNexus is among the most popular frameworks for scaling Scrum. According to the Nexus Guide, “Nexus is a framework for developing and sustaining scaled product delivery initiatives. It builds upon Scrum, extending it only where absolutely necessary to minimize and manage dependencies between multiple Scrum Teams while promoting empiricism and the Scrum Values.” How is Nexus different from Scrum? Scrum defines three primary roles: The Product Owner, the Scrum Master and the development team. These three roles work together in one team.The Nexus framework consists of several Scrum teams that work together toward a common product goal and defines the Nexus Integration Team as an additional accountability.  Nexus helps to build on the values of Scrum and also solves the collaboration and dependency challenges that tend to occur between teams in Scrum.Benefits of using Nexus Nexus extends Scrum in the following ways:  Accountabilities: Nexus introduces the Nexus Integration Team, which consists of the Scrum Master, Product Owner, and members. This team is accountable for delivering a workable product at the end of each sprint.  Events: Nexus events aim to add to or supplement Scrum events and serve not just individual teams but also the Nexus Integration Team. The objective of a sprint is to achieve the Nexus sprint goal. Artifacts: Although the teams are different, within the Nexus framework they all work towards a single goal and follow a single product backlog. There’s a high amount of transparency and work is allocated to each team. The Nexus Integration TeamAccording to the Nexus Guide, “the Nexus Integration Team exists to coordinate, coach, and supervise the application of Nexus and the operation of Scrum so the best outcomes are derived.” The Nexus Integration Team or NIT comprises of the Scrum Master, the Product Owner and Nexus integration team members. There are generally three to nine Scrum teams working together in Nexus. All of them follow a single product backlog and work towards delivering a single product. The Nexus Integration Team forms an essential role within Nexus and is tasked with providing transparent accountability among the teams in Nexus.Product OwnerThe Product Owner is accountable for maximizing the product value and the work carried out in Nexus. Their primary task is to order and refine the product backlog. Being a member of the Nexus Integration Team, the product owner will work with all the Scrum teams in the Nexus Integration team. The product owner and the teams work towards better defining and refining the product backlog.Scrum MasterJust like in regular Scrum, the Scrum Master in the Nexus Integration Team is also responsible for ensuring that the Nexus framework is understood by everyone on the team as prescribed by the Nexus Guide.   MembersThe members of the Nexus Integration Team are the Scrum team members who aid the Scrum teams in adoption of tools and practices that will help the team and members deliver value at the end of each sprint that meets the definition of done. Nexus Integration Team membership should be considered more important than the individual Scrum Team membership and members should work towards first fulfilling their Nexus team responsibilities.What are the Events in Nexus?Nexus adds or augments the events as defined by Scrum. The Nexus event durations are like Scrum event durations and are guided by the Scrum Guide.  Nexus events consist of: Sprint- A Nexus sprint is the same as in Scrum, at the end of which a single increment is delivered.  Cross team refinement- The aim of Nexus is to enhance collaboration and reduce cross team dependencies. Cross team refinement helps to make dependencies and responsibilities more transparent. This makes it easier for Scrum teams within the Nexus to clearly identify and deliver their allocated tasks.  Nexus Sprint Planning- Nexus sprint planning will involve the participation of the Product Owner and concerned teams' members from each team. The purpose of the Nexus Sprint Planning is to assign and co-ordinate activities for a single sprint.  Nexus Daily Scrum- This is like the daily stand up in Scrum. Nexus daily scrum is used to identify any issues and track progress. Any issues are immediately prioritized and solved so that they do not hinder the work of the developers.  Nexus Sprint Review- This event is held at the end of sprints to provide feedback on the increment that has been built and on any future updates that have to be made. Nexus Sprint Retrospective- Like in Scrum, Nexus retrospectives are an important part of the project and are used to reflect on how quality and consistency can be improved.  Some Nexus ArtifactsNexus artifacts are the same as Scrum artifacts and when implemented correctly ensure transparency and value maximization. Every artifact is designed to give a commitment. For example, the product backlog is the artifact and its commitment is the product goal. Other artifacts and their commitments include: Nexus Sprint Backlog-Nexus Sprint Goal Integrated Increment-Definition of Done Along with Nexus, LeSS is another popular framework for scaling agile.  Scaling Scrum with LeSS The Large-Scale Scrum (LeSS) framework is an offering from Atlassian and is a framework for scaling Scrum to multiple teams that are working on the same product. The idea behind LeSS is to start with a single Scrum team as defined in the Scrum Guide and then replicate it to multiple teams who are working on a single product. LeSS has earned the label of being “barely sufficient” as it is a simple framework to apply and uses the basic concepts of Scrum to scale.  How do Sprint Planning meetings in LeSS work?  LeSS generally carries out sprint planning in two stages. Sprint Planning One focuses on selecting items that are of topmost priority, solving unanswered issues and defining the sprint goal. The Sprint Planning Two is like the sprint plan of regular Scrum and focuses on creating a plan of action for getting things done.  Daily meeting  The daily Scrum meeting in LeSS is similar to how it is done in normal single Scrum teams and involves team members discussing the work accomplished and the work to be done during the day. It is a time-boxed meeting and helps teams address any issues that may be hindering work.   Sprint Delivery Meeting (Review) The sprint review meeting is an essential part of LeSS and helps teams and stakeholders review the product built during the sprint and suggest changes and new ideas.   Retrospective The retrospective for LeSS is similar to one team Scrum. These retrospectives held at the end of the sprint will help teams to reflect on the progress of tasks, and identify the obstacles that may hinder or impede the overall project.  Let’s take a look at some of the other frameworks that are used for scaling agile. Scaling Scrum with SAFe®The Scaled Agile Framework, SAFe in short, follows the principles of lean and agile and helps in scaling Scrum to the enterprise. It helps to manage alignment, collaboration, and delivery from multiple agile teams to ensure enterprise success. It systematically focuses on applying Scrum at each level of the enterprise, to maximize value and ensure a successful agile transformation.A successful SAFe adoption ensures end-to-end business agility with significant improvements in strategy, delivery, execution and business competencies. It helps organizations overcome competition and ensure innovative business solutions to gain customer trust and partnership. The SAFe framework is continuously improvised in order to help organizations cope with the digital age and ensure that business outcomes are delivered.Scaling Scrum with the Scrum@Scale frameworkAnother framework that allows organizations to implement Scrum at scale is the Scrum@Scale framework. This framework expands on the core principles of Scrum and helps to scale Scrum over a wide range of industries and sectors, ensuring customer satisfaction and creation of successful products. It promotes communication across all teams and departments, and optimizes resources, removes roadblocks and ensures creation of innovative products.A Final Word By driving Agile at the organizational level, companies can gain all the benefits of team-level Scrum at scale. More often than not the principles of team level Scrum are not sustainable at the enterprise level and the transformation fails. Tested and proven Agile scaling frameworks are now able to turn this around, and help organizations scale up the principles and practices of Scrum to become more adaptable, flexible and responsive. Professionals can master these frameworks and help their organization adopt the culture, mind-set and principles of Scrum and agile.  
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A Guide to Scaling Scrum

Scrum has been proven to work well for small tea... Read More